Before I start, I want to let you all know that I resisted the urge to make a “Giants storm the Capital” joke for this preview. I avoided it in the headline. I avoided it in the subheadline. And....I did not avoid it in the intro.
So just know that’s the joke I would have made if I felt like making that joke, but I didn’t, so here I am, not making it, just telling you about it.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals
Where: Nationals Park, Washington DC
When: Friday (4:05 p.m. PT), Saturday (10:05 a.m. PT), and Sunday (10:35 a.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Saturday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Friday: Sammy Long vs. Patrick Corbin
Saturday: Alex Wood vs. Undecided
Sunday: Logan Webb vs. Josiah Gray
Where they stand
Record: 8-5, 4th in the NL West
Run differential: +19, 3rd in the NL
Momentum: 1-game losing streak
Record: 6-9 (nice), 4th in the NL East
Run differential: -20, 14th in the NL
Momentum: 2-game losing streak
Three Giants to watch
Sammy Long: Long hasn’t been used much this year, as it seems like the Giants have maybe been saving him for ... well ... this. The team needs an additional starter after compressing the rotation for a doubleheader, and Long gets the nod for Friday’s series opener. He showed a lot of promise last year, and has been great in very limited usage this year, so it will be fun to see what he can produce.
Mauricio Dubón: Dubón hasn’t gotten much playing time given how many righties the Giants have faced, and he’s firmly behind Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada on the infield depth chart, so hasn’t even gotten spot starts. But with the Giants facing a lefty, Dubi will get a start ... and with Steven Duggar injured, Gabe Kapler might be forced to play Dubón a little more to get his glove in center field.
Luis González, maybe: With Duggar injured, all eyes turn to González, a left-handed hitting outfielder who was the standout player in Spring Training. González has been excellent in AAA Sacramento, but isn’t on the 40-man roster. He is, however, with the team, which suggests he might be joining the 40-man and active rosters as early as Saturday, when the Giants will face a right-hander.
No roster move yet for the Giants. Luis Gonzalez is here on the taxi squad, but that could change before the game. He took a red-eye to get here, is a little tired but also thrilled. “This is my dream,” he said.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 22, 2022
Three Nationals to watch
Juan Soto: Soto is probably the best hitter in baseball. How good is he? He’s currently hitting .260/.448/.480, which represents his worst season since he was a 19-year old rookie. He’s a threat to reach the magical .500 on-base percentage for a full season — he was at .465 last year, and .490 in 2020. He’s an absolute dream to watch at the plate ... except when he’s playing your team.
Patrick Corbin: Giants fans are familiar with Friday’s starter, as Corbin spent the first six years of his career in the NL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he was a two-time All-Star. But he’s fallen on hard times the last few years. He led the majors in earned runs and home runs allowed in 2021, and in hits allowed in 2020. And his 2022 is off to a brutal start, as he’s pitched 12 innings and allowed 17 hits, 8 walks, and 10 earned runs. The Giants righties have been chomping at the bit for a chance to face a lefty, and they’re getting a vulnerable one.
Josiah Gray: Gray has yet to become the star that the Nationals envisioned when he helped highlight the Trea Turner and Max Scherzer trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But he’s shown signs, and has 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings this season. When he’s on, he’s really, really good. But he’s a young player who still has a lot of exploitable weaknesses in his game.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Nationals win 2-1